What makes Easter different from every other holiday including Christmas? Answer: the resurrection of Jesus! Easter brings new hope and life to my heart every year. It’s less complicated than the Christmas season and reminds me of the reason I look to Jesus daily. Celebrate E-A-S-T-E-R with me:
E – Easter Eggs
“‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him’” (Mark 16:6).
Every year my family goes through a carton of multi-colored plastic eggs that tell the story of Jesus’ resurrection. Each egg, except the last one, has an item that represents the week that Jesus went to the cross. There’s a nail representing the crown of thorns, a piece of cloth representing the linen, and a small pebble representing the large rock that covered the tomb. The one empty egg represents the empty grave. Even though my children have outgrown the wonder of what is in each egg—we still go through it every Easter to remind ourselves of the great sacrifice our Lord did for each of us.
A – Abstinence of Material Comforts
“But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:17-18).
As a family , we’ve also started a new tradition of doing a family fast from Palm Sunday to Easter. We each choose something individually to fast from and we typically fast as a group from recreational activities such as watching TV, playing video games, or visiting social media. Fasting doesn’t feel comfortable—nor should it. The Easter season gives us an opportunity to abstain from comforts in order that we may hear more clearly from God and restrain the flesh from gaining mastery over our lives.
S – Sunday Worship
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” (Acts 2:46).
When I was a young girl, one of my favorite memories was getting a new Sunday dress. I loved the pastel pinks, greens, yellows, and blues. As I got older, my parents couldn’t always afford to get us new clothes, but it didn’t dampen my excitement about Easter. At church there was always special Easter songs from old Negro spirituals like, “Amen” and “Were you there?” I don’t remember those songs being sung at any other times. I do remember even as a young child being absorbed in the solitary unity of the body of believers—singing with solemnness and emotion about Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection.
T – Togetherness of Family
“There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you” (Deuteronomy 12:7).
Easter is special because of the togetherness of my spiritual and natural family. It’s unlike Christmas which carries the weight of gift-giving and receiving. This special Sunday is about celebrating Christ and His redemptive work of the cross . We are unified in our faith in Jesus no matter the age of family members. Growing up there were always Easter egg hunts, honey-baked ham, and lots of candy! As it was a special time for me, I’ve made great efforts to make it a memory for my own children even as they are growing up and moving away.
E – Entrance of Spring
“Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.’ And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:11-12).
Not only do we celebrate the new life that we are given in Christ at Easter, it feels like nature celebrates with us. As the grass begins to turn green, the tulips are making their glorious entrance, and rabbits romp around the yards—it’s Easter. It’s a time of refreshing life and energy as a gift from our Creator to all mankind. Easter reminds me that all of nature praises God in its own way and timing.
R – Resurrection of Christ
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade” (1 Peter 1:3-4).
Sometimes I reflect on how Jesus could’ve been born in Bethlehem, but change His mind before Calvary. Who would’ve blamed Him? It’s hard to imagine how He took on the sins of every single person who would ever be born! In contrast, we can scarcely forgive the smallest infractions, and yet the Lord freely forgives us even when we were still in our miserable sinful lives. It’s amazing. It’s unfathomable. It’s grace—unmerited favor from God. The resurrection was the fulfillment of Jesus (the Seed) bruising the head of Satan and breaking the power of death. Believers around the world have this hope in Christ that sustains us through life’s difficulty…all because He rose again.
He is Risen!
I overhead a young man share his testimony of going from a life controlled by drugs and alcohol to being instantly free from the inside out. He was all alone out in a country football field when in a moment, he went from complete darkness to the incredible light of Jesus Christ. Easter is celebrated not just in the spring, but every single time a man, woman, or child comes to the light. Celebrate Easter in the excitement of light, joy, peace, and freedom we have in Christ Jesus.
More reading: 22 Quotes About the Cross 
Resource – New International Version Bible, The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblca, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.